Leah Gardner Art
Leah Gardner is a southern Indiana-raised, Chicago-based painter. She started painting in March 2020 and quickly found that oil paint was the medium for her. Since then, she has painted nearly every day and transitioned to working full-time as an artist. Leah finds inspiration in everyday objects, scenes at and around home, nostalgic foods, and vintage advertisements. Her work has been featured at several Chicago businesses, including Stranded Salon and First Sip Café. She also had a solo show at Artspace in Chicago in November 2020.
I paint every day the way most people brush their teeth or eat breakfast—I just don’t feel right if I skip it. The self-expression, vibrant colors, and even the sensory experience of moving my brush on a surface have become a necessary part of my routine.
I work in oils for that sensory experience. I like the way they feel and look as I use them, and since the process is equally important to me as the outcome, enjoying the materials I work with is crucial.
I typically choose subject matter that is in some way comforting to me. Most of the things I paint are associated with happy memories of a place (Indiana and Michigan landscapes), or something that satisfies my sweet tooth (lollipops and donuts, naturally), or something that just makes me feel good (fruits and veggies, makeup, and flowers).
I hope that after viewing my work, observers can walk away with some of the satisfaction and calm that I feel when I think about, and then paint, these simple pleasures.